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Electronic Viewfinder VS Optical - Headaches


I am concerned about the R series camera not having an optical viewfinder option. The electronic viewfinder has caused headaches and nausea for me. I was looking forward to going mirrorless but now I will have to reconsider. What future cameras will still use an optical viewfinder? What options do I have to help this problem? I'm a photographer who has never had a problem like this until using the EVF on the R6ii. Very disappointed if this is how the R cameras will be. I know I'm not the only photographer experiencing this, as there are other forums out there on this issue. What will Canon do to accommodate current Canon photographers who experience this? Is DSLR our only option right now then? Has anyone else experienced this? And what did you decide to do?



Sorry to hear about the headaches.  I think the only thing you can currently do is to provide Canon feedback and encourage others to do the same.

To do so, visit Canon USA Home Page and scroll to the bottom.  It's a bit tricky to find now, but there's a "[+] Feedback" link you can click on (right above the copyright notice).  From there you can choose "Product" and then provide the details to Canon.

I'm wondering if it's the particular refresh rate of the EVF.  Do you also have headaches due to some TVs or fluorescent lighting as well?


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

I normally don't get headaches from other screens. I did try adjusting the diopter as well. For just family portraits, and some weddings each year, I think I'll have to stick with the 5D IV. If I had to use an EVF for a 10 hour wedding, I can see myself getting a good migraine - and to me it's not worth all the newest technology. I am bummed, but maybe there will be a future solution Canon will produce?

Rising Star
Rising Star

Have you also tried adjusting the diopter adjustment on the viewfinder?  If the EVF is just out of focus, your eye can be straining to keep the image in focus which could be a factor to the headache and nausea.


Rebel XT, 7D, 5Dm3, 5DmIV (current), EOS R, EOS R5 (current)

I did try adjusting that, I think having a screen constantly in front of only one eye is what is causing this for me. The eyefinder is a must for me over the LCD screen, so I may have to stick with DSLR.


I'm sorry about your EVF problems; but I think, and really hope, that they can be solved.

Your post reads like you're not clear on what the whole mirrorless concept is.  An optical viewfinder needs a mirror; so a mirrorless camera can never have an optical viewfinder.  Since the R series is Canon's mirrorless lineup, there's no point on speculating about "if this is how the R cameras will be".  This is how it is.  There simply isn't room between the lens and the sensor for a mirror.

As for "what future cameras will still use an optical viewfinder" -- none.  Since all the main camera manufacturers -- Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic -- are going, or have gone, mirrorless, this is how it's going to be.  If you really need an optical viewfinder, grab a DSLR now while you can.  But the mirrorless design has huge benefits -- it's smaller, cheaper, lighter, has no viewfinder blackout, no mirror shake, no mirror noise, etc. etc. etc.  The world has gone mirrorless for good reasons.

Personally I've never had problems with an EVF; I find them crisp and clear; focussing is easy, even in the darkest conditions (another huge benefit).  If you're having issues, then like @jaewoosong I suggest you check your diopter adjustment.  As a glasses wearer, I always set the diopter to get a clear view in the EVF, and this can be trickier than it looks.

I hope you can sort this out.  DSLRs are on the way out, and it really seems that an EVF should be a solid replacement.  But if not, then getting a DSLR while they're still available is your only option.

I did mess with the diopter. But, as a person who's prone to migraines, I can see this being a huge problem. So far, on my DSLRs, I can do a 10 hour wedding day no problem. I think some people are going to avoid mirrorless for this reason, which is a big health reason. I don't want my love for photography to come with headaches, so for that reason, you are correct in the fact that I'll probably have to stick with DSLR's for the time being.

I would add consistent auto-focus performance regardless of whether you're using the EVF or live-view screen to take a picture as another benefit of mirrorless cameras.

Kevin Rahe
EOS M50 Mark II


It might be a good idea to rent several manufacturer's mirrorless cameras to see if some other brand has an electronic viewfinder that you can use. This is not something you can tell just putting it to your eye in the store.

Do you wear glassses? an additional diopter screen might help to to get you more eye relief.


"But the mirrorless design has huge benefits"


Along with "huge" faults.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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